A mountain of generosity in Rumford

Something good is happening in Rumford.

In the weeks since voters turned down a request from the Maine Winter Sports Center to fund $51,000 in tax dollars for the nonprofit Black Mountain of Maine, residents and businesses have stepped forward to raise the necessary funds.

The two most recent businesses to step forward are Bangor Savings Bank and Franklin Savings Bank.

On Thursday, Bangor Savings announced it will match up to $25,000 in donations to the ski center, a favorite family ski destination.

On Monday Franklin Savings announced a $10,000 matching donation.

The same day, nearby Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry — owned by Boyne Resorts — made a $5,000 donation.

If the Bangor and Franklin banks’ offers are fulfilled, the mountain will receive $70,000. Add in the Sunday River gift and a $10,000 gift from Rumford Hospital, and it’s up to $85,000. And that’s even before calculating what residents and loyal skiers have already donated or are working to donate.

Rumford native Brian Gagnon, the current CEO of BMG Partners, which has offices in Portland and Boston, may have been the first to start raising funds. The day Black Mountain announced it would have to close its Alpine trails, Gagnon named Black Mountain as his company’s “featured charity” for July, and encouraged friends and co-workers to raise money through CrowdRise. As of Thursday, donors have contributed $7,935 to the cause; Gagnon hopes to raise $55,000.

Three local teens — who are regulars at Black Mountain — are in the process of organizing a 5K fun run/walk event to help out. They hope to set an August date and draw a good crowd.

Andy Shepard, president of Maine Winter Sports Center, told the Sun Journal that “the support from the community has been absolutely inspiring and is a reflection of how important Black Mountain is to people across the country.”


It’s also a reflection of what determined people can do once they set their minds to something.

“It’s clear that this is more than just a ski area; it’s part of people’s lives,” Shepard said, and something that — even in this tight economy — they’re willing to work to save.

That’s good for the mountain. And good for the community.


The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.

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MARK GRAVEL's picture

This clearly shows it can be

This clearly shows it can be done without going to the taxpayer. Kudos.

Steve  Dosh's picture

A mountain of generosity in Rumford

Mainers, Friday night, Hawai'i • 
. .†his is a good thing . There is a positive can do spirit of exercise in Maine
People seem to realize that often you don't really know what you got until it's gone
The Black Mountain ski area probably generated some good local income and community pride , also , like Titcomb Mt. in Farmington and many other smaller ski ares like Lost Valley and Blue Hills , Moose Mountain and Whittier in NH or others mentioned in the http:/www.nelsap.org roundup . Some of us even remember ' Suicide Six ' in VT . Now - that - was a ski area . There was a hill next to Auburn Lake , too , in the 70's but i forget the name . The guy who ran it was nice . He was a bearded sledneck
Keep boarding , board heads :D Steve Dosh , Bates , '78 and HI


They *haven't* done it yet

Some people need to work on their reading comprehension. IF they raise $40k, they will get another $40k in matching funds. IF. They have only raised $8k, which with the match plus the Sunday River gift is still less than half the amount they need. So hold off on the congratulations. If the people of Rumford were too cheap to approve it at the polls, there's still no guarantee they're going to give of their own free will. Looks liek most of the money is coming from outside the area, so far.

David  Cote's picture

An observation...

The person, (or people) disagreeing with the comments listed below must be some miserable soul who stares at four walls all day and night while wallowing in their own urine...

Steve  Dosh's picture

David ? l o l . . You're in

David ? l o l . . You're in ? 20:20 hst ? ƒlyday
These ppl you mention complain about n e thing n e time and n e way they can pretty much on a regular basis . They just don't get out very often . .. ..mostly because of that ' no shoes , no shirt , no service ,' rule ?
i , for one , think those kids who organized the ' Run for the Black Mt. diamond trail ' bike \ hike - roller blade marathon ( to raise money to save this hill from extinction ) ought to be given ƒree season passes , don't you ?  
Either that , or some free days at Pleasant Mountain ( er . . .make that Shawnee Peak , Bridgton ) or recognition at the Loaf or by the governor
He doesn't excercise , either
He simply sits and watches TV , eats steaks and drinks beer after being chauffered to Bethel by his armed guards
:D. /s, Steve Dosh , Hawai'ian boardhead

Amedeo Lauria's picture

What an excellent example for other Maine Communities!

Once again proof that more government spending is not the only answer to getting something done in a community.

If community members WANT something enough, they will rally around the cause and pay for it and not add to the tax burden of those struggling of fixed incomes.

Great job taxpayers of Rumford, proof their are alternatives to higher and higher tax burdens to chase things people WANT instead of NEED!


THOMAS FALLON 's picture


to Black Mountain. Rumford citizens who voted no on their funding request knew they could do it.

I agree...

if done right things will continue. People will give out of their own pockets when asked to do so. They just don't want it in their tax line items. Fixed income people will even give alittle as long as they are not forced to through taxation. Changes will take place in Rumford for the better now that the tax payers have said "we need to do things better and in different ways". The GRCC building needs to go. What is offered for seniors there? What is offered for the handicapped there? Merging of towns for the right reasons might take place now. And if that happens we can all benefits from a great Health and Recreation center that doesn't cater to just one group but groups of all ages.

Robert McQueeney's picture

This is a good day!

This is a good day!

Ed McCaffrey's picture

Since the mountain only needs $51,000

This proves that the town no longer needs to support them each year. Maybe the excess could go toward helping the GRCC meet its needs. Then, everyone would be happy, except, of course, the physically disabled folks in the area who STILL wouldn't be able to use any of the resources that the GRCC has to offer because they can't get to them.


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